The Truth About NeatDesk Document Scanner 2014

NeatDesk Scanner easily exports data to any program or cloud service you can think of. The claim that Neat data is proprietary is false, and in this video I demonstrate all the ways to export your Neat scans to Evernote, Dropbox, Neat Cloud, or any external hard drive or other media. I explain why I prefer Neat Cloud over other Cloud Services. I also show what computer hardware I have, in hopes that it may help you troubleshoot any issues you may be having with your Neat Document Scanner. I don’t work for Neat, and I’ve never gotten anything free from the Neat company; just to set the record straight! 🙂

Here are all my NeatDesk & Neat Software videos (as of 2/18/15):
Getting Tech Support:
Neat Desk Has Stopped Working:
3 Things You Should Know About NeatDesk:
NeatDesk Export and Backup: (that’s this video)
Neat 5.5 Installation Woes:


Tanielle Brown says:

Thank you for sharing. I have a lot of questions with using it. When I scan, the scanned looks dark, what should I do to make it clear.

douglas paz-reyes says:

thanks… you are the best!!!!!

Chris F says:

Mimi, your obviously a “Fanboy” of the Neat scanner. On the other hand, if it is working great for you, that’s all the matters. But I think others should know – I tried it, knowing it as the “only” document solution because of the commercials as it’s the first area I needed to delve into. Let me tell you with 18+ years of experience – you ARE right the older videos are a LITTLE biased. BUT – there are things I found that still exist here in November 2015 with the NeatConnect scanner, and more than likely worse with the NeatDesk scanner that has been reported before – It doesn’t feed the documents half the time, when it does it will feed crooked sometimes and CONTINUE, wrecking the document even with the paper guides set properly (again, the NeatConnect model I have) – the ScanSnap doesn’t do this. Biggest issue – and that’s with their Wireless NeatConnect scanner – It is LOCKED for Wireless scanning to their NeatCloud service so it can ONLY do OCR and put it into the program. Now, if that isn’t proprietary, what is? Sure, you can scan to Dropbox etc. but then you need to do manual OCR. You can’t use it wirelessly either to a computer. You have to use a USB cable. What’s the point for buying the thing for almost $500 when you can get a ScanSnap that can scan to a OCR’d PDF immediately as good or likely better (and if you want even better OCR, do ABBYY FineReader Searchable PDF, which is included too) for $419 from Newegg, AND you can use ANY software you choose?

Overall, the scanner hardware is comparable, but the Feed mechanism and software is HORRIBLE – especially the company’s support. Look at all the poor reviews on Amazon RECENTLY. I had to deal with their phone system with is indescribable – there is literally no way you can get to a human without LYING to it – it will hang up on you even with a valid account.

The end point is it’s a good try – but the company is selling poor software, mediocre hardware (possibly even poor), and non-existent support.

Jeff Lobdell says:

This is a solid review. Audio quality and editing is professional.


Junk cant load win 7 and cant load win 10, Junk no support none! Only online

pilut172 says:

My problem is not with the software.  My needs are pretty basic so the software is probably more powerful than I need.  A few bumps with the software but overall is fine.  My problem is with the scanner itself.  When I first got it, it worked great, but over time had to start force feeding paper through, started pulling multiple pages at once which causes me to have to start over.  Getting the thing to calibrate is a MAJOR hurdle.  The calibration sheets that come with it aren’t worth a flip.  It errors every time with them so I have to use the printed version from my printer. Even then I have to calibrate it 6-8 times in a row successfully.  My desk is anything but NEAT.  Throwing in trash and getting a Fujitsu FI-7160.  Only bad review I’ve seen on it is the price, which I’m willing to pay to  have a “NEAT” desk.

Butch S says:

Try reaching Neat Tech Support. I haven’t had any luck getting my new ND-1000 Neat scanner working. I hung on their Live Chat for over an hour (they kept telling me I had a 6 minute wait). Phone support ran me in circles with recordings and no human ever answered. I have submitted multiple Neat Trouble Reports, no one responds.

Yvonne Bedient says:

Do you know how to remove a thick black image down the middle of the scan? It appears to be the size of the feed roller, I have completely cleaned the unit.

Mark Hughes says:

Hi Mimi,
I purchased this scanner and it’s been an unopened dust collector in my closet for several years. Many of the old review videos had me discouraged, primarily that you couldn’t back up to an alternate cloud other than Neat. Can you also back up to a local network drive? Also, what’s the average size of you total neat data base? Thanks for your awesome reviews 🙂

Larry Kantor says:

Several years ago, I paid $399 for the NeatDesk Scanner and software and then invested hundreds of hours scanning documents and receipts. Recently, when I tried to open the program, a notice stated that “You must install this version (5.71.474) to continue using Neat.” To my dismay, when I read the fine print, it stated that must agree to pay an additional $150 to enable the receipts and documents software. Meanwhile, I cannot open the program or access that many documents that I have scanned. If I had any clue that Neat could do this to me, I never would have purchased their product.

Mking says:

How do I change the order of the folders without having to create them in the order I want right from the beginning?

MAE1040 says:

HeyMimi DIY, I found your video informative… You do still sound like you work for NEAT though too much stress on cheap cloud service, lol. I am trying to just use this thing as a document scanner and put this on a hard drive as i don’t trust cloud services, there is no such thing as a “secure cloud” Neat locked out my account because I misspelled my first employers name and now I haven’t heard back from them. This company will not even take my calls to unlock it. It seems to me that this company is not out to help the customer succeed unless it overfills their pockets with $$$ while doing so.

PapaGeorg10 says:

Is this the best document scanner in terms of value?

Sara Aronzon says:

good information

SebasSTI Santos says:

Mimi, thank you; great lesson. I continue tolearn and be amazed with this little guy.

50myles says:

Mimi, what a great video. You should be working for Neat! I got more detail from watching your video then I got from the start up on Neat. Thank you!

vegging1 says:

I’ve had the neat scanner for 8 months. I purchased a new computer and had it installed. I get errors all the time, it freezes daily and now wants to sync with the cloud. I haven’t got the cloud because I’m very unsure of the privacy issues but know my system shows that it needs to sync. It pops up after every scan. Getting help from Neat is impossible. It also won’t back up onto my computer. Any ideas?

PapaGeorg10 says:

Does it fix document if it scans crooked?

Honey Borla says:

Thank you, this was great information and I also love my neat.  Thank you, thank you, thank you

Laura Calderon says:

great information. I always thought this would be great.

Mario Veras says:

Mimi, I thought in this video you had an overly defensive attitude of this product which clearly shows bias in its favor. I am not sure I trust reviews that carry so much color.

Yes, you can use the NeatDesk without the subscription. However, please don’t deny the fact that the Neat company is moving in the direction of having their customers pay monthly for the use of their service and they clearly want everyone to do so. They are slowly but surely closing the doors on those who want to remain without the subscription. They just shut the doors on the legacy software, so we get no more support or new versions of that. If you want a new version from now on, you need to go to the cloud version, which means you need to subscribe.

Also, I know you alluded to the contrary on your video, but you cannot directly tie your Neat software to Dropbox or OneDrive, etc. The only choice they give you is their own NeatCloud. So you need to have yet another cloud storage service even if you don’t want it, plus you have to pay for it. I saw your explanation about exporting the data to PDF, etc. but that isn’t a practical solution. I’ve used the NeatDesk for years and exporting everything I’ve scanned into Neat would more than double the amount of work I need to do. Let’s admit they just make it so difficult to take your data out of the Neat walled-garden, that it discourages us from doing it. Even though they don’t prohibit it, the fact that you have to save and put a file name on every single scan, adds unnecessary time consuming process, plus you lose your unified automatic OCR and search capabilities once you export. On the other hand, Neat makes it so easy to keep your data tied to their proprietary database, that you wouldn’t want it any other way.

The Neat software has all the hallmarks of proprietary software. It stores your images and all data into a database you cannot access from any other program, and the only way to view your documents in other programs is to export them at the expense of losing your OCR and search capabilities. Also, you cannot use an HP, Fujitsu, or any other scanner with the Neat Desktop software, so please don’t tell me this is not proprietary.

After you invest so much time and scan thousands of pages into the Neat system, it is totally impractical to store your documents any other way, because with any digital file storage system, you MUST be able to do searching, otherwise it is useless. This is why I find it impractical to just export your files to PDF because the problem is, what are you going to use to search through your PDF library? Windows is not going to help you with that, and Adobe even less. So this is why I consider that once you are in the NeatDesk world, you are stuck with it, because exporting is useless. Exporting is only good if you need to pull a document from your archive and exporting it to PDF to email it to someone, but having all your documents as PDF is practically useless.

I truly understand the Neat software does a great job at scanning, OCR, search, etc., but please understand that it is a walled-garden of some kind and it is not, by any definition, an open-source system that is friendly to other systems in any sense of the word. Yes, you can export, but that is not a good, practical solution anyone should embrace. If that were the case, why buy a Neat scanner in the first place? Why not use the one built into my HP All-In-One printer? It will do exactly the same thing and I won’t have to deal with the sometimes strange UI of the Neat software.

Please don’t take this review the wrong way. My only point here is to bring an objective eye to these products and ensure we are not biased.

BiG Sarge says:

I just bought mine but I can’t get it to work or get any support.

nyc2cuse says:

how is this different than a regular $60 scanner?

Vasant Patel says:

Do not buy a Neat scanner: This is a Junk item, No one answer your question,
Bad design*), bad software**), unresponsive design team.
They do not care about malfunctions, do not care about customer.

rex493pt says:

HeyMimi DIY thanks a lot, i have been struggling for a while to use my neatdesk scanner. Unfortunately i lost the manual sometime last year and i haven’t been able to use my scanner to its full potential, but your tutorials have been a wonderful experience and i am currently able to scan and save documents in different folders. Thanks again and have a lovely day.

Ma Xiang says:


Anthony Cardile says:

hi, my problem is that after inputting 2yrs worth of receipts, i had to change computers. i had know idea when i purchased the machine that i would also have to purchase a monthly subscription plan. after not using the my machine for many months, i cant get any of my info to link onto my new computer. i found the files but they are encripted. i cant reach anyone at neat unless i purchase a phone plan for $49.99. my only option now is to just return the unit but i would still like to retrieve my documents which i now need for tax purchases. can anyone help me. thanks

Jack Torse says:

On March 1, 2016, the Neat Company posted an announcement that it is ending support for Neat Desktop as of March 31, 2016. Meaning it will stop fixing bugs and allowing new downloads. If past behavior is any indication, the next OS update will
break Neat Desktop but now the company won’t fix it. Instead, Neat demands that its customers subscribe to its new cloud software. That’s a minimum of $72 per year. Read it and weep:

David Woodard says:

What about having to either purchase/subrcribe to Neat’s Cloud to update Neat software for a 2013 scanner. I tried via Intuit but that created a new quickbooks online acct which is totally separate from my QkBks 2013 existing software package. I do not understand how these companies get away with these bait and switch deals where one purchases a product for several hundred dollars, which goes obsolete in a year or so without having to pay them more????!!!!

Erica Cook says:

I use my scanner largely to scan text books, and now that I’ve graduated, books for general reading, because I am dyslexic. I use reading software to read, and they have to be in Word documents to be able to use the software. Scanning them is the first step. I scan two sides at a time, and try to scan 5 sheets at a time. It crashes all the time. I am scanning to PDF because it saves steps in the process of making them readable for me, but even then it can take over a week to make a book readable. I am desperately hoping this stops the crashing. It would cut hours of the scanning time if I didn’t have to constantly rescan things to make sure the pages are in the correct order.

K Kennedy says:

Hey MiMi,
do you have to purchase the cloud services to use the scanner? I would only like to export receipts to pdf’s thats all

Sarah Chikuni says:

Hi Mimi. I am happy to find your videos of the NeatDesk. I am going to purchase one, but wanted your recommendation. What model do your have? And do you recommend going wireless? One more thing, have you had the problems with the software quitting? Sorry I am new to this completely!!!

Bruce Mofid says:


isela hernandez says:

when you export to excel file can  you actually see the receipt in the excel workbook?

08cct353rajanh says:

Hey Mimi, how many business cards maximum can you put in the business card tray?

john lockwood says:

Great review! I am buying it today. As a computer repair shop owner, I see user issues that are mistaking for product issues all the time! Most of the time it’s a user issue. Example: “I will never buy another Dell, becaouse I keep getting viruses!” LOL Keep up the great reviews, John

Ma Xiang says:

DONT waste your time watching this shit. This woman don’t know what shes’ talking bout.

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